Our education specialists have years of experience in the sector and have a particular expertise in academy schools – our Kent office now acts for more than 80 academies and free schools. As such, we understand that independence from your Local Authority is likely to require improved internal controls for your school’s finances.
Whether you are thinking of converting to academy school status or have already done so, we can help you with the complex array of issues you will need to deal with from best value audit and accounts preparation to fundraising and VAT issues. We will provide you with an independent opinion on your financial situation and recommend any necessary adjustments or improvements to your controls and processes for future years.
The academy sector can be a challenging one, with a constantly changing set of reporting requirements.
Our experts keep themselves up to date with all the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) requirements so that they can keep their clients abreast of regulatory and other changes. We also prepare regular academy newsletters on topical issues that affect academies.
Our services to academy schools and free schools include:
- information to be considered in the academy conversion process;
- year end statutory audit and Academy Return completion;
- preparation of your accounts in line with the ESFA Accounts Direction and Charity SORP;
- Teachers Pension EOYC audits;
- advice in connection with the Academies Financial Handbook;
- internal audit and monitoring visits to provide assurance on systems and controls throughout the year (what used to be the Responsible Officer service);
- VAT reviews and advice on the best method for academies to reclaim VAT;
- advice on the best structure for commercial trading activities, such as the use of subsidiaries;
- assistance with the preparation of March Accounts returns;
- assistance with Budget Forecasts;
- employment tax issues;
- governor training;
- establishing key financial policies and procedures including risk management and internal control;
- assistance with choosing and setting up an appropriate accounting system;
- payroll services for academy schools – our payroll software has been specifically developed for the education sector
- bookkeeping and support to your finance function, including interim appointments; and
- the preparation of management accounts to aide reporting to governors.